The Orphanage

So this movie seems to be giving a lot of positive impressions, especially considering its genre. Although, come to think of it, a few critically approved films of this nature have really let me down in the past, but still, I’m optimistic. Anyone take the plunge yet?

I’ve wanted to see it for a while, I can’t seem to find it close by at all. I’m afraid it might slip until I can find it available on video at some point.

I’m fairly certain it will be easy to find at my local indie theater. I’m just surprised the usual suspects for “why yes I did see that at _______ festival, and it was simply mahvelous” haven’t made a thread about it, since it has been so well received.

I’m looking forward to seeing this. It’s playing at a few places around here…The only problem is, no one will go with me. I’m surrounded by wusses.

Why yes it was at the Toronto film festival but I didn’t get a chance to see it. But you gotta love how a movie like this will now get some exposure because of the success of Pan’s Labyrinth.

I just saw it Saturday. It was also my first visit to the Sundance Kabuki theaters in Japantown, San Francisco (you reserve your seats from a touch screen at the ticket counter).

I really enjoyed the movie. It was well acted, creepy, and had some good jump-in-your-seat moments. My friend I went with found it a little slow, I think. But I wouldn’t agree with that as a criticism.

I’ve been wanting to see more horror movies, but I’m not into schlock, nor snuff films/torture porn. This is a well-crafted alternative … can anyone recommend anything else in this vein?

My gf wants me to take her to see this, but I told her it was too scary. She said that’s okay, and that I can bury my face in her shoulder during the scary parts.

Some more Spanish horror:

One of my old horror-suspense favorites from Spain is by Amenabar, about snuff films without being a snuff film, if that makes sense. “Thesis” is pretty great, and I’ve tested it out on non-spanish speakers and they liked it as well. That just springs to mind given the topic despite it not being that particular brand of horror…I wasn’t a huge fan of Abre Los Ojos (remade as Vanilla Sky) or The Others, but I really like that one.

Del Toro’s old movie, “The Devil’s Backbone”, is not as obviously good as Pan, but I liked it in a mixed kind of way. I would certainly recommend it over many of the better American horror releases recently.

It lost me when the commercial voiceover guy proclaimed “This movie is so suspenseful it will have you repeating to yourself ‘it’s only a movie’!”

I actually think that was part of a review (if I recall correctly from my quick skim of the RottenTomatoes reviews).

Also quite looking forward to seeing this… no idea when it might open up here, though.

The Devil’s Backbone is one of my favorite movies, and I found it far better than Pan’s Labyrinth. In fact, I was pretty disappointed in PL because I like Devil’s Backbone so much.

Other than those 2, I’ve got nothing in terms of recommendations.

Thanks for the recommendations, Lizard King and Eduardo X.

NP. I pimp Thesis whenever it’s remotely plausible (despite its terrible DVD presentation), if only because so many endured “8mm” and deserved better. I know I did. We will be avenged.

I think 8mm was the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

Boring as fuck. Way to utterly waste your would-be provocative subject matter, film. Nic Cage flinching at a screen the audience cannot see blows. Plus, the victim wasn’t innocent enough for it to truly hit home. You need to bust some wayward kids a la Running Scared if you want to rattle this burned out shell of man.

I just saw The Orphanage tonight and thought it was excellent. Definite top 10 best of 2007 material.

Seriously now… anyone have any clue where I might be able to find out when this is opening? I can’t seem to figure out when it’s supposed to go beyond the limited release.

According to Wikipedia and IMDB, the opening takes place on January 11.

Yeah, but I think it opened in limited release on Christmas so technically it qualifies for the 2007 award and best-of lists.

Man, was it ever great.

(Sorry for posting this in two threads but I wrote this movie up for the top 10 list I’m working on over in Tom’s Top 10 Movies of 2007 thread. I also wanted to post it here in the right place because The Orphanage just came out and because it was so damn great.)

The Orphanage (Rated R, 98 minutes)

If you love a good, old-fashioned SCARY ghost story, then gird your loins because they don’t get much better than The Orphanage. This exceptionally spooky and satisfying first feature from Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona centers on a girl named Laura who spent her early childhood with five other children at an orphanage near a lighthouse by the sea. Luckily, she was adopted and so parted ways with her home and her childhood playmates. Thirty years later, Laura returns to the orphanage with her husband and young son named Simon, planning to fix up the place and re-open it as a home for disabled children. But, wouldn’t you know it, things don’t go according to plan. The house creaks and bumps in the night. Simon makes invisible friends. And soon, Laura is plunged into a mother’s worst nightmare when her boy vanishes during a masquerade party. Laura is consumed by her need to find her lost son, and so she delves deeper and deeper into the orphanage with its dark secrets of the five children she left behind that summer day. Conjuring up horror classics like The Shining, Poltergeist, and The Changeling, The Orphanage is both brilliantly realized and restrained. To his credit, Bayona lets the mystery unfold in its own slow rhythm of dread and suspense, only parceling out the jolts sparingly for maximum effect. It’s a nail-biter, but one which earns a surprisingly emotional payoff at the end. One particularly tense and involving sequence involves a visit from a paranormal medium named Aurora (played by Charlie’s daughter, the great Geraldine Chaplin) and it had me on the edge of my seat. Perhaps it helped Bayona to have the guiding wisdom of Pan’s Labyrinth genius Guillermo Del Toro as producer on this film, but he strikes me as a born talent. You’d never guess The Orphanage was somebody’s first feature. It feels more like an instant classic.